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  • Writer's pictureheutemalindisch

Baingan Bharta - Indian style smoke roasted eggplant puree




Smoky roasted eggplant puree with Indian spices, or Punjabi Baingan Bharta, is a very popular dish in North India and also one of my personal favorites.


This smoky Baingan Bharta is a delicious Indian style eggplant puree that is great served with Chapatis or Parathas . It's vegan, gluten-free and ready in 30 minutes.


What is Baingan Bharta?

Baingan Bharta is basically a fire roasted eggplant puree cooked with spices. There are different ways to prepare this bharta (bharta = puree), but this is the most common way and the one you will find in Indian restaurants.


In some ways it is similar in taste to Baba Ghanoush without the tahini and olive oil. Baingan Bharta or Eggplant Bhartais a smoky roasted Indian style eggplant puree. The whole eggplant is roasted over a direct flame until soft and smoky, and then the flesh is cooked with mild spices.


There are many regional Indian variations on the preparation of Baingan Bharta. Not only do the spices and herbs vary, but some variations also add cooked/steamed green peas, while others add yogurt. In still other variations, the tomatoes are sometimes omitted.


Baingan Bharta is prepared in many different ways in different regions. In Maharashtra it is called Vangyache Bharit, Chokha in Bihar, and Kathirikai Gothsu in Tamil Nadu. The recipe I am sharing today is a Punjabi style Baingan Bharta, which is popular not only in India but all over the world.


I learned this authentic Punjabi recipe from my friend's mother-in-law who makes excellent Punjabi food. I occasionally add some steamed green peas to the eggplant bharta. My family loves this Baingan Bharta simply because of its simplicity and taste.


In winter, I prepare this bharta recipe as often as possible because seasonal eggplants are much more nutritious and flavorful than those available in other seasons.


So if you haven't tried it yet, it's time to give this delicious sabzi (vegetable dish) a try. It tastes fantastic with hot Lachha Parathas, but it also goes well with rice. I personally prefer Chapatis with which I can then polish the whole plate clean.


Ingredients for Baingan Bharta

Baingan(Aubergine) - It is very important to find the right eggplant. Choose those with firm and shiny skin. There should be no spots or dents on it. Choose the eggplant with a dot at the bottom and not with a line. The one with a dot is the male fruit with fewer seeds.


Oil - I personally like to use mustard oil as it adds a nice flavor and is also considered very healthy.


Green chilies - You can adjust the number of green chilies according to your taste and spice level. I like it spicy, so I add more chilies.


Spice powders - To further enhance the flavor, we'll add some basic everyday spice powders like coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, Garam Masala and amchur (dry mango powder) to add.


Peas - This is optional, but I like the bite the green peas added to the soft bharta. If you don't have fresh peas, you can use frozen green peas. Just put the frozen green peas in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes, pour away the water and they are ready to use. If you are using fresh peas, boil them in water until they are soft before adding them to the bharta.


Fresh coriander - Coriander adds a refreshing flavor to any dish. So garnish your bharta with finely chopped coriander leaves.


Other Ingredients - We also need some basic ingredients like garlic, onion, ginger, tomatoes and salt which together enhance the taste of this bharta.



FAQs

How to roast eggplant in the oven for Baingan Bharta?

How to roast eggplant in the oven for Baingan Bharta?

The best way to roast eggplant is over an open fire as it gives it its smoky flavor, but you can alternatively roast it in an oven.


To roast eggplant in an oven, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Make slits in the eggplant and press the garlic cloves into them, as described in the recipe below. Brush with oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes until charred, then turn and roast again for 10-12 minutes.


You can also put your eggplant in a hot air fryer. Just cut eggplant in half and fry for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius in the Air Fryer


Can you do it without roasting the eggplants?

To prepare your Baingan Bharta without roasting eggplants in advance, wash your baingan (brinjals) and peel them. Then cut them into cubes and boil them with ½ cup of water until the cubes are soft. Then use these instead of roasted baingan, but trust me, the taste just won't be the same.


How to cook baingan in a pan?

Slice baingan and put it in a pan. Cover with water and cook until they are soft. When they are done, let them cool and mash them into a puree. However, if baingan are cooked in the pan, you won't get the smoky flavor.


Serving Suggestions

You can serve this Baingan Bharta with Indian bread like Chapatis, Tawa Paratha, Lachha Parathas or Missi Roti. You can also serve it as a side dish with a Rice-Dal combination.


You can use leftover Baingan Bharta quite creatively by simply stuffing it all into mini tart pans and then serving it as an appetizer.


Storage suggestions

Baingan Bharta will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container. Heat it in a pan or microwave until nice and warm before serving.


Baingan bharta can also be easily frozen. Just fill it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 3 months for later use. Thaw it on the kitchen counter for 2-3 hours before use, then microwave it until warm.


Ingredients

  • 1 large whole eggplant

  • 3-5 whole garlic cloves, peeled

  • 4 tbsp mustard oil

  • 250 g onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp green chili, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp ginger paste

  • 250 g tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp red Kashmiri chili powder

  • ½ tsp Garam Masala powder

  • 1 tsp amchur (dry mango powder)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 60 g green peas, soaked

  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped

Instructions

To start preparing Baingan Bharta, first roast the eggplant. Wash it and wipe it with a kitchen towel. Make 3-4 slits all over it with a paring knife.


Put a whole peeled garlic clove in each slit. Roasting the garlic cloves along with the eggplant gives this bharta a very delicious flavor. So don't skip this step.Brush the eggplant with a little oil before roasting.

Keep the eggplant on direct flame and fry it on all sides over medium heat until the skin is black and soft inside. Turn them every 2-3 minutes while roasting. It takes 10-12 minutes to roast them properly. To check if the eggplant is well roasted, stick a knife into it. The knife should easily penetrate the flesh..


Note - Roasting the eggplant over direct heat gives it a very nice smoky flavor. Therefore, I recommend roasting them over a direct flame. However, you can also roast them in an oven, hot air fryer, grill, or even steam them in a pressure cooker.

Remove the roasted eggplant from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the burnt skin by peeling it off with your fingers. Cut off the stalk at the top. Wash the peeled eggplant to remove all traces of charred skin. Cut it in half and remove the seeds. Mash the flesh with your fingers, a fork or a potato masher and set aside..

Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in a skillet. A cast iron skillet works best for this dish.


Add chopped onion and chopped green chilies and fry them over medium heat until translucent.Add ginger paste and cook everything for another minute.

Now add 1 cup chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are mushy. Keep stirring at regular intervals.

Then add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red Kashmiri chili powder, Garam Masala powder, amchur (dry mango powder) and salt to taste along with ½ cup water and fry everything for a minute.

Add green peas and eggplant puree and mix everything well.

Cook on high heat for one to two minutes. Add chopped coriander leaves Continue mashing with the back of the ladle.

Serve Baingan Bharta with Chapatis or Dal-Rice .



Tips

  • Use plump, large eggplants to prepare Baingan Bharta. Make sure it is the variety with fewer seeds. Discard the large seeds after roasting the eggplant.

  • To check if the eggplant is cooked from the inside, stick a knife inside. If the knife goes through easily, it means it is done.

  • Mustard oil gives this dish a nice spicy flavor, but you can make it with any other oil.

  • Adding peas to your bharta is optional. You can always skip this step.

  • You can also make a variation of potato eggplant bharta. This Baingan Aloo Bharta tastes just as delicious. Roast the potatoes along with baingan to prepare this bharta.

  • Roasting a few cloves of garlic along with eggplant adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish later. I make a few slits in the eggplant and put garlic cloves in those slits.

  • You can also add cooked ground beef to this bharta and make Baingan Kheema Bharta. Don't forget to add more spices.




I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.


Feel free to give me feedback if you would like to share your cooking accomplishments or have a suggestion for improvement. I appreciate any kind feedback. Whether via the comment function, email, Facebook or Instagram (best tagged with #heutemalindisch and @heutemalindisch, then your cooking success can also inspire others).

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